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Local News

  • MVD clerks anger residents

    The drill is usually simple at the local motor vehicle office: Take a number and wait your turn.

    But the rules changed Friday, angering customers.

    The office was shorthanded, so its employees took a lunch and left a bunch of people waiting outside. Around 15 were still there when an Optic reporter showed up around 2 p.m.

  • Grand Avenue under construction

    The long-awaited Grand Avenue project is beginning this week.

    Officials said they hope to finish the $4.4 million project by September. The first phase of work includes the area from Tilden to Columbia streets.

  • West seeks feedback on budget

    The West Las Vegas school board is taking its meetings to different schools to give parents and staff a chance to give feedback on next year’s budget.

    Some of the ideas being tossed around include increasing class sizes and reducing hours of instruction.

    Superintendent Jim Abreu welcomed a large group from Union and Don Cecilio Martinez elementary schools to a presentation by Finance Director Dawn Biagianti at Union.

  • Valdez won't run for sheriff

    Tony Valdez, who had planned to run for San Miguel County sheriff, has decided against entering the race after all.

    Valdez, an investigator with the district attorney’s office, said he decided not to run for “personal reasons.”

    Valdez had held a fundraiser at the Night Owl, complete with a band. He said he would put that money into a campaign fund for a race in 2014, either for sheriff or magistrate judge.

    Valdez, who is a member of the Luna Community College Board of Trustees, said he appreciated the support for his campaign for sheriff.

  • City judge's pay hike irks council

    With his new term in office, Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo will now make $80,000 a year, up from $68,000.

    That’s because of a 2003 City Council ordinance that ties the pay of the municipal judge to that of state magistrate judges.

    It’s not a change that members of the City Council are happy with. At a meeting last week, some suggested the possibility of repealing the ordinance that calls for the pay hike.

  • Mayor urges strict compliance with Open Meetings Act

    Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz said last week that he wants to avoid even the appearance of holding secret meetings.

    At his first City Council meeting as mayor, he said council members shouldn’t even sit next to each other during events they attend outside of council meetings.

    He said he wanted to make sure the council strictly followed the state Open Meetings Act, which prevents a quorum of members from talking about public business outside of advertised meetings.

  • Lawmaker's memorial service set

    The memorial service for former local lawmaker David Salman will be held at 1 p.m. Friday in the state Capitol.

    Salman died Feb. 28, 2010. He was 74.

  • Alamo Street residents upset

    There’s no sugarcoating the condition of a portion of Alamo Street: It’s a muddy messy.

    And some residents there are fed up.

    The city suspended construction on Alamo from McRae to South Pacific streets at the onset of winter in mid-December. The same went for Piñon Street.

    With 18 snows so far this season, Alamo has become muddier and muddier. Two weeks ago, a garbage truck got struck. And the street contractor, Sangre de Cristo Gravel, found its tractors sliding around when it tried to fix after a recent rain.

  • Lucero seeks county seat

    Joe “Yunta” Lucero, an employee in the San Miguel County assessor’s office, plans to run for the District 1 seat on the County Commission.

    That seat is held by June Garcia, who was elected four years ago. She is widely expected to run for another term.

    District 1 covers part of Las Vegas and the areas northwest of town.

  • Judge to run again

    Philip Romero, a local Magistrate Court judge for the last 14 years, plans to run for another four-year term.

    He will compete in the June 1 Democratic primary. The only other announced Democratic candidate for Romero’s position is Ruth Trujillo, a paralegal.

    “I would like to continue to serve the people as magistrate judge,” Romero said. “I promise to answer to my obligations in making fair and honest decisions.”